Why Critical Thinking and Interpersonal Skills are Power Skills

Why Critical Thinking and Interpersonal Skills are Power Skills

You know that success in the modern workplace requires a multitude of different skills. And regardless of your industry, critical thinking skills and interpersonal skills (like being able to communicate effectively) are essential for professional success. Did you know that the lack of interpersonal and critical thinking skills can make or break your career?

This is because the consequences of your inability to process and analyze information critically and effectively can be significant. Although job-specific, technical expertise and knowledge might once have been the most crucial abilities for employees to have, nowadays, the emphasis on abilities, such as communication, which are widely applicable to most jobs, is rapidly growing. It is no secret that of all the power skills, interpersonal, and critical thinking skills are among the most vital skills for being an effective and productive member of your organization and getting ahead in your career.

What are Interpersonal Skills?

We can define interpersonal skills as the social skills and traits that you use to interact with others. They are considered power skills as machines cannot duplicate these traits. Interpersonal skills include the ability to effectively communicate, to develop, and nurture positive relationships with other people.

It is no secret that there are very few jobs on the market where someone works 100 percent on their own. Note that even the roles you may think are mainly solo affairs still need some teamwork and human interaction. This is why interpersonal skills are among the most important power skills. In other words, interpersonal skills, such as empathy and communication, are the tools that you use to get on with other individuals.

The World Economic Forum has also detailed that critical thinking, complex problem solving, and creativity will become some of the most crucial power skills an employee can develop to obtain and retain a job. So, few people can deny the importance of these powerful skills. In this dynamic and social world, interpersonal skills will help you navigate daily interactions, communications, and even conflicts with others.

Types of Interpersonal Skills

You can think of interpersonal skills, such as listening, as a giant umbrella that contains multitudes of skills. Do not be overwhelmed, though. This is because some individuals are inherently more inclined to have certain strengths and weaknesses in their interpersonal skill set.

For instance, if you’re not an excellent verbal communicator—such as when you’re communicating with or addressing a large group of people—you may use a different interpersonal skill set, like written communication.

As we are imperfect human beings, it is best to play to your unique strengths. However, you should also test your comfort boundaries when building and improving your interpersonal skillset. These interpersonal skills will help set you apart from others.

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Listening Skills
  • Empathy
  • Dependability

What are Critical Thinking Skills?

We can define critical thinking as the ability to think rationally, logically, and clearly, understanding the rationale and logical connection between different ideas. Critical thinking is also considered a powerful skill. This is because, unlike hard skills, like business analysis, this power skill is hard to quantify.

This makes critical thinking skills similar to leadership, communication, and teamwork. While they may not be “measurable” with numbers or a test, they are quite easily recognizable and apparent in how you interact with other people. Critical thinking is an important power skill as it allows you to make informed and logical decisions to the best of your ability.

Although hard skills, as usually evidenced in certificates, grades, or demonstrable competencies (like typing speed), are an important part of what employers look at, they are just one part of the picture.

Did you know that critical thinking skills have been the subject of great debate since the time of many early Greek philosophers like Socrates and Plato? And it is worth noting that effective critical thinkers often remain curious about an extensive range of topics and usually have broad interests.

These people also remain inquisitive about the world as well as about other people. Also, they have a good understanding of and appreciation for various beliefs, cultures, and views that are an important shared quality of our humanity. Most jobs, even some seemingly nominal jobs, tend to involve at least some critical thinking.

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